Redevelopment plan threatens oldest functioning timber yard
Published: 27 July, 2016
The Grosvenor Estate is engaged in a controversial bid to redevelop Newson’s Timber Yard on Pimlico Road, Belgravia. The developer plans to convert the 175-year-old timber yard into high end residential and large retail units.
This will mean the closure of the oldest functioning timber yard in the country, the loss of six independent retailers and will potentially put more than 30 local jobs at risk. Newson’s Timber Yard is the oldest functional timber yard in the UK still operating on its original site; protestors against the redevelopment argue that it should be protected as a national architectural asset.
They say that the timber yard has been vital to the livelihoods of those that work there, with staff having accumulated a combined total of 168 years local service, and one employee having served over 32 years at the yard.
The Belgravia Society, The Belgravia Residents Association and The Pimlico Road Traders Association are all against Grosvenor’s redevelopment and have written letters in support of the Belgravia Society’s application for Newson’s Timber Yard to be made an Asset of Community Value.
Travis Perkins have engaged with the local community and have set up Save Newson’s Timber Yard, a campaign to appeal against Grosvenor’s plans. The campaign is urging residents and the business community to sign a campaign petition and write letters objecting to the redevelopment to Westminster City Council.
A spokesperson from Travis Perkins said: “We have played an important role in maintaining the continuity of the Pimlico Road timber yard in its original function from its inception 175 years ago and want to continue this service.
“It is unsustainable planning policy to push out successfully operating businesses from communities that need them. The yard plays an integral role in supplying local craftsmen, businesses and independent retailers in Belgravia and should not be forcibly closed in favour of large retail units that are not wanted locally.”